Slow Cooker Red Beans and Rice

I’ve always wanted to try this out, and today seemed a good day.  I am using up what I have on hand, so some of this could definitely be improved with other supplies!

Slow Cooker Red Beans and Rice
3 cups dried red beans, soaked overnight
4 small onions, chopped
10 cloves of garlic, chopped
2 red peppers (using jarred roasted red pepper, I think I used 3)
sausage / leftover ham (I’m using canned ham, and yes I know that is gross, I just wanted the smokey ham flavour in there)
7 cups water (I used water and about 4 cups of beef broth as I had it on hand, and there wasn’t much meatiness in my version otherwise)
2 tablespoons creole spice (see recipe below, or use what you like)

Fry up the sausage/ham then add the pepper. Dinner 004Add onions and garlic and season with creole spice – Dinner 005when everything is looking browned, add to the cooker.  Use some of your water to scrape up anything tasty on the bottom of the skillet, then add liquid to the cooker.  Dinner 006Add beans to the cooker, pour the remaining water over, and cook for 7 hours on low.Dinner 007

Half an hour before done, remove about 1 to 1 1/2 cups of the beans, mash well, then return to pot to make a creamier consistency.  Adjust seasoning, adding more creole spice if needed.

Serve over rice with hot sauce on the side.

The liquid tastes good already, and it certainly is a very cheap meal!

Valentine's Day Dinner!
Valentine’s Day Dinner!

Result:  I think this recipe needs some work on proportions – I’d say about 6 cups or less of water.  I wanted it thick, and in the end – it was still very watery when the stage of mashing the beans came up, so I used 2 cans of kidney beans, mashed those (drained and rinsed) and added as the thickener – this worked great – the mashed beans soaked up the liquid, and the previously dried beans were still tender and cooked but intact.  I will re-write this one with better proportions as it is definitely a keeper!

I really can’t stress enough how much I like this dish – it is so rich and filling, but could be made with so little extra fat or meat – it is so affordable, but so tasty!  It could be served over noodles, grits, mashed or baked potatoes… and I’m planning on doing a pizza with it soon too!

Emeril’s Creole Seasoning
2 1/2 tablespoons paprika (I used 1 tbsp. smoked sweet paprika and 1 1/2 tbsp. smoked hot paprika – this worked really well as it added the smokey/meaty flavour missing from my meatless or nearly meatless recipe – this is a great trick to make a “meaty” but vegetarian tasting dish I think!)
2 tablespoons salt
2 tablespoons garlic powder
1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon cayenne
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon dried thyme

Dinner 003Mix together and store in airtight container.

Leftovers Update:  We made a lovely pizza from this with pizza dough from the freezer, beans as the sauce, and spinach, olives, capers, slow-roasted tomatoes, garlic, and cheese as a topping!  It was awesome!cake 005 cake 006 cake 007

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